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Wednesday's Fast Read

New Seven-Year Itch – New research finds the total number of friends people have stays about the same – but individuals replace half their friends about every seven years. How and why depend on a number of factors. The findings go against recent assumption that social networks are shrinking in size. Click here for the story.

Gossip Girls – There's more to gossip than just good dirt. U of Michigan researchers say when women dish, their levels of progesterone increase. This boosts feelings of well-being and reduces stress, indicating gossip is part of a "neuro-endocrine" aspect of social bonding. Click here for the story.

Vitamin M – Music is proving to be a powerful treatment for people with Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis and for others recovering from traumatic conditions. Therapists have known about these effects for years but science is only now uncovering how music works wonders. Click here for the story.

Men Of Their Words – Book clubs for men are apparently becoming popular, although reading may not be a priority. Click here for the story.

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